Alarming Comments Force Mobile County Public Schools to Tighten Safety Measures

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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Clint Bernard is the man who the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says made alarming comments that forced Mobile County Public Schools to adopt a Code Orange this morning.

“This particular subject had made comments that constituted a safety issue with respect to Mobile County Public School campuses,” MCPSS Director of Safety and Security Andy Gatewood said.

The sheriff’s office says Bernard was seen at a school in March and made alarming comments to people on campus. No one could identify him until a family member called the sheriff’s office on Friday when Bernard made comments about it again. Bernard was voluntarily taken to the hospital before getting checked out this morning, prompting the sheriff’s office to notify the school system.

“They weren’t 100% sure where he was earlier this morning,” Gatewood said.

As a precaution, all schools in the county have been placed under a secure perimeter, which means that all exterior doors have been locked and all exterior activities have been suspended. A letter was sent to administrators telling them to make schools safe, but word got out before parents were notified.

“When we do this, students may recognize that they can’t go out to do PE and they start texting mom and dad,” said Rena Philips.

Rena Philips of the school system said parents were notified soon after schools were secured and the secure perimeter just had to be on the safe side.

“No specific threats were made to any specific school, so we felt the children were safe,” Philips said.

Bernard was found at his home around 10 a.m. this morning. Parents we spoke to say they understand the school system’s approach but want more communication in the future.

“If you’re at work, you can’t access your social media, you need to know that. Even if they leave a message on the cellphone, you need to know what’s going on,” a relative said.

The sheriff’s office says Bernard was escorted to a probate hearing at the request of his family, but he will not face any charges.

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